Hot on the heels of the switch from rings to channels, Microsoft has emitted the first "official" preview of the next Windows 10 and warned laggards that the 2004 auto-updater is on its way.
As has been the norm since the disastrous Windows 10 October 2018 Update, Microsoft has been taking a cautious approach with new releases. The May 2020 Update (aka Windows 10 2004, aka 20H1) has been out for a while now so the company has kicked off the training of its machine learning process with a view to automatically updating devices running end-of-service editions of Windows 10.
Up until now, users running Windows 10 1903 or 1909 have had to click "Check for updates" in Windows Update in the hope that the Redmondian gods might smile upon them and declare their devices fit for the delights on offer in Windows 10 2004.
Those seekers will be soon be joined by auto-updated users as Microsoft slowly ramps things up.
The beginning of the automatic rollout came as those enrolled on in the Beta Channel of the Windows Insider Program (formerly known as the Slow Ring) were offered the opportunity to move to build 19042.330, also known as Windows 10 20H2.
Insiders have to elect to download and install the build, if offered, through Windows Update in order to join in the fun. That fun will include the Chromium-based Microsoft Edge, which will arrive with the new build; a preview of what is to come for the wider audience later in the year. It also contains the printer-pummelling KB4557957.
To the relief of those who suffered through the seemingly capricious habit Microsoft had during the days of 19H2 of releasing builds that had features turned on for some Insiders and off for others, 20H2 testers will get all the toys as soon as they are delivered.
John Cable, Microsoft's Director of Program Management for Windows Servicing and Delivery, explained that as well as coming with Chromium Edge, 20H2 would be all about "features to improve performance and quality."
It would also mark an end for the previous numbering convention, which saw some wonder if they had stepped back in time when Windows 10 2004 appeared.
A glance at the popular music charts would have revealed the absence of Peter Andre and Britney Spears, so not 2004 after all. A shame, really, considering how the last few years have gone.
The team will instead target a six-month window and adopt the xHy convention already familiar to Insiders. 20H2 is therefore the second half of 2020.
End users, however, will still get something a bit cuddlier, such as "November 2020 Update" or "the one that won't trash your files and break your printer, honest." ®